The Department of Energy (DOE) had a standout first year of the Biden-Harris administration. We pioneered game-changing scientific research, safely advanced our important nuclear security and cleanup missions, and made huge strides to tackle the climate crisis, build our clean energy economy, and create good-paying jobs.
Funding Climate Solutions
Since President Biden took office, DOE has invested over $2.5 billion through competitive grants for the research, development, demonstration and deployment of clean technologies across the power, buildings, transportation, and industrial sectors. We announced a target (with the Departments of Commerce and the Interior) to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030, and announced a goal to cut solar costs in half by 2030. We also reached a major milestone of providing one million home energy upgrades–from insulation to heat pumps—to save families money.
Accelerating Clean Energy Breakthroughs
DOE launched the Energy Earthshots Initiative to dramatically cut costs for lynchpin clean energy technologies over the next decade to accelerate our progress to 100% clean power and net zero emissions. We announced our first three Energy Earthshots on clean hydrogen, long-duration storage and carbon removal.
Implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)
Thanks to BIL, DOE is receiving $62 billion – the largest infusion since the Department’s founding – to invest in smart new energy infrastructure for Americans. With this investment, DOE will boost American manufacturing, create good-paying clean energy jobs, lower energy costs for businesses and consumers, deliver reliable, clean and affordable power, and build the clean technologies of tomorrow.
- We created the Office of Energy and Transportation, a joint office between DOE and the Department of Transportation that will oversee the implementation of the BIL’s national EV charging network.
- We launched the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations to oversee more than $21 billion in new funding for demonstration projects for emerging technologies like clean hydrogen, advanced nuclear, geothermal and more.
- We launched the Building a Better Grid initiative to catalyze the nationwide development of new, upgraded high-capacity electric transmission to support President Biden’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.
- We launched a new hiring portal, the Clean Energy Corps, to recruit more than 1,000 new DOE staff to implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and build our clean energy economy.
Financing Clean Energy Deployment
Our Loan Programs Office (LPO) is back in business, with $40 billion in loan authority to finance large-scale clean energy deployment projects. Under the Biden-Harris administration, LPO has made it easier than ever for companies to apply for loan guarantees, increasing the application rate by at least 23-fold, and announced their first conditional commitment for a loan in five years.
Supercharging Solar Power
We launched the “Summer of Solar” campaign to celebrate the Americans of different backgrounds who are taking advantage of the sun’s energy and the communities that are making it easier to go solar. As part of the campaign, we announced SolarAPP+, a tool to streamline solar permitting for local governments, and we surpassed our goal of signing up 125 communities for SolarAPP+ by the end of September. We also set a target to power 5 million homes with community solar by 2025.
Reintroducing DOE to the World
Secretary Granholm and Deputy Secretary Turk joined over half the Cabinet at COP26 in Glasgow to demonstrate that the U.S. is back on the world stage and is taking a serious, whole-of-government approach to climate action. DOE made several announcements including our Net Zero World Initiative to help countries decarbonize and tap our National Labs’ expertise. In addition to visiting the UK for COP26, Secretary Granholm visited Ukraine, Austria and Poland, and Deputy Turk visited Italy, India and France on diplomatic and energy duties.
Bringing Justice40 to Life
DOE launched a new Office of Energy Justice, headed by Shalanda Baker, to ensure that disadvantaged communities are first in line for the benefits of DOE’s clean energy investments. We announced several awards and programs to invest in underrepresented communities, including $12 million to tribal nations for clean energy & energy efficiency projects, the Communities LEAP initiative to support locally-driven clean energy plans, and the Inclusive Innovation Prize to invest in energy entrepreneurs of color. We also created an Energy Justice Dashboard (BETA) to allow the agency to see where every single DOE dollar is being spent in communities across the country. DOE is consulting with tribal nations for the first time through our Office of Indian Energy, and is engaging with a wide variety of environmental justice stakeholders to make sure our programs are serving the communities that need it most.
Responding to Threats to Energy Systems
DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response responded to the massive electricity-generation failure in Texas that resulted from a freeze across the state as well as Hurricanes Ida and Nicholas, working with utilities and industry to get power restored to impacted areas. We responded to the Colonial Pipeline hack and worked with partners on the ground to get relief for those affected and restore service as quickly as possible. We announced an additional 50 million barrels of oil available from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to ease pressures American families were feeling at the pump and lower energy prices across the country.
Empowering Energy Communities
DOE helped launch the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities, which identified 25 priority communities for new investment and job creation, and identified nearly $38 billion in existing federal resources for these communities to access. This year, DOE invested in energy projects that can provide skills-matched job opportunities for fossil fuel workers, including geothermal, advanced nuclear, and carbon capture.
Building a Clean Energy Workforce
DOE launched a new Office of Energy Jobs to deepen our engagement with labor leaders and ensure that the clean energy industry creates good-paying, union jobs and employs a workforce that looks like America. We released the annual U.S. Energy and Employment Report and announced a new policy requiring innovations developed with DOE dollars be substantially manufactured in the U.S. We are also working to bolster the supply chain for clean energy under President Biden’s executive order through our research on batteries, critical minerals, EV manufacturing and interagency work.
Leading the World in Science and Technology
Our 17 National Labs continued their track record as global scientific and technology powerhouses, pioneering new discoveries to help address big challenges like nuclear security and climate change. Here are a few highlights from a year full of discovery at the National Labs:
- Pfizer created Paxlovid, the new COVID-19 antiviral treatment, with the help of x-rays at Argonne National Lab’s Advanced Photon Source.
- Lawrence Livermore National Lab’s National Ignition Facility achieved a record yield of over 1.3 megajoules of energy from a fusion reaction, which will help us modernize and protect our nuclear stockpile.
- Los Alamos National Lab built the SuperCam instrument on NASA’s Perseverance rover to study rock composition and record sound on Mars.
- Oak Ridge National Lab launched the nation’s first exascale computer to advance discovery in fields like clean energy, climate science, health and national security.
- Idaho National Lab launched its first advanced nuclear reactor demonstration project in 50 years, showing how this zero-carbon energy source can help tackle climate change.
Advanced Nuclear Security and Cleanup
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) continued its crucial work to safeguard our nuclear stockpile and advance nuclear nonproliferation around the world. Meanwhile, our Office of Environmental Management made tremendous progress to address the legacy of our nation’s nuclear programs, finishing cleanup work at Brookhaven National Lab, processing record amounts of radioactive tank waste at the Savannah River site, demolishing all DOE buildings at the Energy Technology Engineering Center and the Biology Complex at Oak Ridge National Lab, and much more. Secretary Granholm and HHS Secretary Becerra also jointly certified that there is now enough highly enriched uranium-free molybdenum-99, a medical isotope used in over 40,000 procedures, to meet the needs of patients in the United States.
Secretary Granholm delivered over 300 speeches, fireside chats, roundtables and panel discussions to a wide variety of audiences, including environmental justice leaders, climate advocates, local elected officials, members of Congress, businesses, investors, foundations and more.
Deputy Secretary Turk delivered over 80 speeches, fireside chats, roundtables and panel discussions.
Secretary Granholm visited 24 states with over 50 members of Congress and 19 local elected officials.
Secretary Granholm did joint in-person events with three Cabinet members, and did two out-of-town events with VPOTUS and one with POTUS.
Secretary Granholm visited 16 National Labs, virtually and in-person.